The word “Occupy” has become the darling of the media in recent weeks, as in Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Chicago, etc. An interesting piece on NPR yesterday morning spoke to the etymology of the word. Shortly after hearing a portion of this broadcast, I occupied the Rolling Meadows Post Office. I was the first person waiting in line with two patrons already being helped at the counter. Then seconds later, a disgusting heavy breather sidled up so close behind me that I could feel him touching me. He was grunting heavily, and constantly making sucking and sighing noises. And then he started talking in some Middle Eastern tongue on his cell phone in way too close proximity to me. I kept moving closer to the counter, but I didn’t want to get too far beyond the line which you are supposed to stand behind. Did he think by hovering so close to me that he would get helped quicker. There was nobody behind the heavy breather!
This is not the first time this phenomena has occurred. There are people who just don’t understand a person’s private space and they occupy every inch of the planet that they enter. You know the kind of person I am talking about. When they drive, their car drifts into your lane. When they talk, they often spit in your face because they are talking so closely to you. When they are standing behind you in the grocery store, they smash their shopping cart into your rear end or watch over your shoulder as you swipe your debit card and thus may see you enter your pin. When you are petite and just about anywhere, they are oblivious to you and nearly knock you down, often butting in line at service counters (without number systems) and the like. These behaviors are caused by rudeness, self-centeredness, and impatience.
So while these important solidarity movements have given “occupy” a new and very worthy meaning, I ask people to think about a primary definition of occupy - and get the hell out of the tiny little space I am occupying with my 5- foot-1 frame and compact car.